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Thursday Afternoon Business Brief

November 1, 2012, 1:08 PM

Thursday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks have seen a strong rally today, as investors have embraced some better economic reports. The Dow has staged a triple-digit gain.
  • Today's economic reports largely paint a picture where consumers are more confident and more willing to spend. The releases come a day ahead of the monthly employment report.
  • Does it bode well for the upcoming holiday shopping season? Twenty-one retailers from discounter Target to department store Macy's, taken together, report that monthly sales rose 5 percent in October. Analysts fear that some of the spending before Superstorm Sandy hit could have drained consumers' wallets, raising the risk they'll cut back in the weeks ahead.
  • Mark Fields, who has spent seven years as head of Ford's Americas division, will become the automaker's chief operating officer Dec. 1. He will report to CEO Alan Mulally, who says that he plans to remain CEO at least through 2014. Fields is seen as the likely successor to the 67-year-old Mulally.
  • The state of Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit against former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and one-time officials with the state's economic development agency in connection with a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company. The suit filed in Rhode Island Superior Court names Schilling, along with the former executive director of the Economic Development Corp., Keith Stokes, and another former state official who worked closely on the deal.

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